You can watch the Web, animate the Web and read the Web. Why not listen to the Web?
Progressive Networks RealAudio 3.0 (Server starts at $295; Progressive Networks, 800-632-8920, 206-447-0567). The leader in sound technology for the Web, Progressive Networks offers RealAudio 3.0. The program provides streaming audio, so users can play audio tracks in real time without waiting for downloads. Web-site providers must pay to license the RealAudio technology, which starts at $295 for 10 audio streams.
The makers of RealAudio have also just implemented RealVideo, the company's version of video for the Internet. RealVideo delivers streaming video over the Web, optimized for delivery to a 56.6Kbps modem. This technology promises to take the Web to new multimedia frontiers, but wide acceptance hinges on the proliferation of high-speed modems.
Internet Music Kit ($49; Wildcat Canyon Software, 800-336-0989, 510-527-5155). For not-so-serious sound, The Internet Music Kit offers a low-cost-and lower-tech-option. IMK streams audio in its own proprietary WebTracks format, which can be heard using the WebTracks browser plug-in. You can convert any MIDI tune to WebTracks and create your own MIDI music in the included DoReMi composition program (which is a blast to use).